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THE DAVID BECKHAM ACADEMY is running football courses for 8 to 15 year olds, designed to keep children fit and healthy whatever their abilities. The courses, which start at £80 for one day, cover everything from learning new football skills to the importance of good nutrition. For details, please visit

Hello from Mumsnet HQ...

My Little Wrapper

...Where we've been busy launching our Home Front campaign, a high-profile national debate supported by the Equality and Human Rights Commission, about how parents organise work and caring for children. Please come along, add your tuppence worth and fill out our survey - you could even win a two-night family break at a luxury family hotel.

Speaking of juggling acts, if you missed our chat with shadow family minister Maria Miller then catch up on the questions and comments here.

On the competition front this week there are Cottontail Nappy Starter Packs up for grabs and, for those of you who haven't yet arranged anything for the summer hols (you know who you are), family passes to Paulton Park.

And now for this week's parenting news ...

Rethink urged on maternity rights: Women's careers are being sabotaged by the extension of maternity leave and parents' rights, the head of the new equalities watchdog said this week. Nicola Brewer of the Equalities and Human Rights Commission said giving women a year off work after childbirth - soon to be a paid right - would make employers think twice about offering a job or promotion. She said generous maternity benefits entrenched the assumption that only mothers brought up children and failed to hasten a social revolution where both parents were equally responsible for caring for children. (Times 15.07.08)

Junk food ads still target kids: Children are still being targeted by junk food companies via the internet or through 'viral' promotions, despite a ban on TV adverts promoting unhealthy food to under-16s. According to Which?, companies banned from using terrestrial TV adverts are finding other ways of targeting kids - they now push products through gaming websites or through sponsored mobile phone competitions that allow participants to win prizes. Cadbury publicises Creme Eggs on Bebo, and McDonald's continues to have a 'kid zone' on its website, with adverts for its 'happy meals'. (Independent 16.07.08)

Other stories in brief

The typical cost of school holiday childcare for working families this summer has risen to £87.43 a week, according to the Daycare Trust (16.07.08); women who eat a lot of nuts during pregnancy may be putting their children at a greater risk of asthma, scientists warned (Guardian 16.07.08); teaching children as young as three to write short sentences and use punctuation has little effect on their later literacy skills, according to new research, which raises questions about the government's planned curriculum for the under fives (Guardian 14.07.08); and girl guide leaders have warned girls face sexual and consumer pressures to grow up too soon (BBC Online 15.07.08).

After great feedback about Ladybird Prints on the Mumsnet talk boards, we have invited them to become a Mumsnet partner. is a new website that brings to life the pictures from the Ladybird Books. They are offering all members a 10% discount on their fabulous prints and canvases.

Hot threads

Quote of the week

Fabio on the announcement that Margaret Thatcher will be given a state funeral:
"Is she dead? Or are we not waiting till then?"

Looking for a summer day out? Mumsnetters recommend:

Aitch's TV round-up: Dispatches: The Jab That Can Stop Cancer, Channel 4, Monday 21 July, 9pm

Place your bets now as to how many times Jane Moore will utter the words "as the mother of two young daughters". Just a wee drinking game to lighten the mood of what looks to be an otherwise sober investigation into the issues surrounding the new cervical cancer injection. If you have a 12 or 13 year old daughter, you'll shortly be offered the opportunity to protect her against contracting the (otherwise sexually transmitted) virus that causes the disease. But will you refuse? Moore reports on the government's approach to the problem, the Manchester trial and the way big business is promoting the jab in America. Heavily and with menace, it will not surprise you to hear. Read more here.

Blog of the Week: It's My Life and I'll Blog If I Want To

Tinkywinks on the hazards of children's festivals: "I got stung by a bee. It got trapped in my hair, then I saw the little git insert his sting into my little finger. I think it's kind of cured my phobia of getting stung by a bee. It definitely was no worse than stubbing my toe or treading on a bit of lego. It was more the emotional trauma, the fact that this creature left his sting in me, without my permission, it just felt so invasive. I felt I had, in a way, been raped by this bee. All that and not even an 'I've been brave' sticker from St John's."

Filled with pent-up parenting rage? Get blogging with your own Mumsnet Blog.

Carmenere's Recipe Of The Week: LemonTart's 321 biscuits

So the long, not-so-hot summer holidays are looming and the prospect of entertaining the troops for six weeks just has to include some baking. This simple recipe from LemonTart for the brilliantly named 321 biscuits will buy you, oh, at least 30 minutes of peace - and you get to scoff them afterwards. Enjoy!

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